House fire near Sooke, B.C., prevented from turning into forest fire
15 homes were evacuated as a precaution, but residents were told they could go home Thursday p.m.
A fire that destroyed a home west of Sooke, B.C., jumped to nearby trees and brush but firefighters got the upper hand before the blaze spread further in the wooded area.
The fire, which appeared to be under control as of 3:30 p.m. PT, broke out in the area of Carpenter & West Coast roads, between Sooke and Otter Point sometime Thursday morning.
Some of my guests actually went out to see if they could do anything before the fire got too bad, pulling out some gas tanks and things like that.- Alison Hogan, 4 Beaches B&B
Alison Hogan, who runs a B&B along West Coast Road, near the property where the fire started, said she first noticed smoke sometime after 10 a.m.
"We were noticing some smoke in the wooded part across the street," she said. "I tried to reach the neighbour at that time, but couldn't get ahold of him."
With firefighters on the way, the bed and breakfast guests sprang into action.
"Some of my guests actually went out to see if they could do anything before the fire got too bad, pulling out some gas tanks and things like that," Hogan said. "And then they started helping on my side, hosing down the yard a bit because it's so dry out here that anything could have spread."
By the time the fire department arrived, the fire had taken over the shed and spread to the house.
Hogan said more firefighters arrived over the next several hours but the fire gradually worsened with embers flying around and starting small ground fires.
Approximately 15 homes closest to the fire area near Kemp Lake were evacuated and residents were directed to head to Sooke Community Hall.
Provincial fire officials say local firefighters put in calls for help, and say conditions in the area are dry and windy.
As of 4 p.m. PT, firefighters were still tending to hot spots in the woods surrounding the main property, but the precautionary evacuation order had been lifted.